Everyone loves a good practical joke–even some of our favorite writers! To celebrate April Fool’s Day, we thought we’d take a look at some of the greatest pranks ever pulled by literary figures.
1. ERNEST HEMINGWAY’S FAMOUS FLASH FICTION
The story of how Papa Hemingway came up with such a powerful little piece of fiction is legendary. It was April Fool’s Eve, and Hemingway was sitting around the bar with some of his writer friends. Under the influence of some adult beverages, Hemingway bet his comrades ten dollars that he could write a story under ten words that would devastate them. When each person placed their money on the table, Hemingway scooped it up, slammed down a napkin with a couple of words scrawled on it, and strolled out of the bar. The napkin simply read:
2. TOBIAS WOLFF’S MUSTACHE
Tobias Wolff originally first put on his famous fake ‘stache as a silly disguise for April Fool’s Day. Unbeknownst to him, however, Raymond Carver had coated it in superglue, forever adhering it to Wolff’s face. Wolff’s powerful and emotional journey to accept his new look would eventually become the subject of his memoir, This Boy’s Life.
3. JAMES JOYCE’S SECRET MESSAGE IN FINNEGANS WAKE
If you make it to the end of Finnegans Wake, look in the lower right hand corner of the last page, and you’ll see in a barely visible font where Joyce wrote “omg did u rly read this whole thing? lol”
You didn’t really fall for that, did you?
5. THE CONTINUED POPULARITY OF JONATHAN FRANZEN
Franzen has a new book out soon, so it looks like the laughs will keep on coming.